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§ 3-1004. Exceptions and exclusions.

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   Whether or not they constitute the practice of law, the following are not prohibited:

   (A) Title insurance companies authorized to do business in the State of Nebraska and their licensed agents, real estate rental agencies, licensed real estate brokers and their affiliated licensees, and employees of such entities, preparing certain documents that would normally involve the practice of law subject to the following:

   (1) The transaction involved is merely incidental to their lawful business as a title insurance company or licensed agent thereof, rental agency, real estate broker, or affiliated licensees of a real estate broker.

   (2) The transaction arises in the usual course of business for the title insurance company issuing title insurance, the rental agency as agent for the lessor or the lessee, the broker who is the listing or selling broker, or the real estate licensee affiliated with the broker.

   (3) Licensed real estate brokers and their affiliated licensees, as agents for the seller and/or buyer, may prepare purchase agreements and contracts of sale.

   (4) Real estate rental agencies representing the lessor and/or lessee may prepare residential, commercial, or farm leases.

   (5) In closing a real estate sale, licensed real estate brokers and title insurance companies and their licensed agents may prepare deeds, releases which do not affect judgment liens, deeds of reconveyance, title affidavits, closing statements, and related documents.

   (6) The documents referred to in §3-1004(A)(3), (4) and (5) to be prepared by nonlawyers shall be on standardized forms which may contain various blanks to be filled in, the completion or selection of which does not require the knowledge, judgment, or skill of one trained as a lawyer.

   (7) No counsel or advice shall be given with respect to the meaning, validity, or legal effect of the document or regarding the rights and obligations of the parties.

   (B) Licensed abstractors preparing or extending abstracts without rendering opinions as to the character of the title. A title insurance company authorized to do business in the State of Nebraska, including its licensed agents, may review public records and specify any curative work or describe conditions which must be fulfilled before it will issue a title insurance policy in connection with a proposed real estate transaction, but may not render opinions, counsel, and advice to others regarding the marketability or status of titles.

   (C) Nonlawyers appearing in a representative capacity before an administrative tribunal or agency, subject to the following:

   (1) A nonlawyer may appear in a representative capacity before a federal administrative tribunal or agency to the extent permitted by such tribunal or agency.

   (2) A nonlawyer who is an employee, member, or officer of an entity or organization may represent such entity or organization before an administrative tribunal or agency of the State of Nebraska, or a political subdivision of the State of Nebraska, if all of the following conditions are met:

   (a) The tribunal, agency, or political subdivision permits representation of parties by nonlawyers;

   (b) The nonlawyer employee, member, or officer is specifically authorized by the entity or organization to appear before the tribunal, agency, or political subdivision on its behalf;

   (c) Such representation is not the primary duty of the nonlawyer employee, member, or officer to the entity or organization, but is secondary to other duties relating to the management or operation of the entity or organization;

   (d) The nonlawyer employee, member, or officer does not receive separate or additional compensation (other than reimbursement for costs) for such representation;

   (e) The representation does not involve a claim that the tribunal, agency, or political subdivision’s action or the action of another person is illegal as a matter of law or unconstitutional; and

   (f) The Nebraska Evidence Rules as applicable in the district courts do not apply to the administrative proceeding.

   (3) A nonlawyer may represent an unrelated party before an administrative agency or tribunal of the State of Nebraska if all of the following conditions are met:

   (a) The agency or tribunal permits representation of parties by nonlawyers;

   (b) The party knows that the representative is a nonlawyer and authorizes such person to appear on behalf of the party in a particular proceeding;

   (c) The representation does not involve a claim that the agency action or action of another person is illegal as a matter of law or unconstitutional;

   (d) The representation does not require the knowledge, judgment, or skill of a lawyer or the preparation of legal briefs; and

   (e) The Nebraska Evidence Rules, as applicable in the district courts, do not apply to the administrative proceeding.

   (D) Nonlawyers serving in neutral capacities as mediators, arbitrators, conciliators, or facilitators.

   (E) Nonlawyers participating in labor negotiations, employee disciplinary hearings, employment grievances, arbitrations, mediations, or conciliations arising under collective bargaining rights or agreements or state or federal law, provided, however, that the Nebraska Evidence Rules, as applicable in district courts, do not apply or the Federal Rules of Evidence do not apply.

   (F) Nonlawyers acting as lobbyists.

   (G) Nonlawyers selling legal forms in any format, so long as they do not advise or counsel another regarding the selection, use, or legal effect of the forms.

   (H) With respect to tax laws:

   (1) Nonlawyers preparing tax returns.

   (2) Nonlawyers representing other persons, entities, or organizations before the Internal Revenue Service, the Nebraska Department of Revenue, or any other state or local taxing authority in Nebraska to the extent permitted by such agency or taxing authority.

   (3) Nonlawyers practicing before the U.S. Tax Court in conformity with its rules.

   (I) Provision of the following services by certified public accountants who are authorized to practice accountancy in the State of Nebraska:

   (1) Providing advice on all taxes of any kind.

   (2) Issuing financial statements including, but not limited to, attestations, reviews, and compilations, and rendering opinions thereon.

   (3) Advising a third party regarding any fact or matter on which the certified public accountants have a statutory or regulatory duty to report to that party.

   (4) Preparing, at the request of the client or the client’s lawyer, language for proposed inclusion in a legal document being prepared by the client’s lawyer.

   (5) Providing financial and managerial advice.

   Nothing herein shall be deemed to authorize certified public accountants to draft legal documents or provide legal advice except as provided in § 3-1004(I)(1), (2), (3), and (4).

   (J) Nonlawyers providing information about the application of the law to a product or service which the nonlawyer is otherwise lawfully authorized to provide to the public.

   (K) Nonlawyer or lawyer employees or members of an entity or organization providing information or education about law, regulations, legal procedures, and compliance issues for the purpose of training other employees or members of the entity or organization.

   (L) Nonlawyer employees of an entity or organization preparing legal documents that are incidental to the entity’s or organization’s business and connected with any transaction in which the entity has a direct, primary, and nonfiduciary interest, or a fiduciary interest required by federal law.

   (M) Nonlawyers in the business of serving as fiduciaries, providing beneficiaries and interested persons with advice regarding the meaning, effect, and legal impact of wills, trusts, or plans and preparing documents incidental to the administration thereof.

   (N) Nonlawyer employees of an entity or organization engaging in the activities described in § 3‑1001(A)(B), and (D) for the sole benefit of the entity or organization.

   (O) A nonlawyer entity or organization which employs lawyer employees to perform the activities described in § 3-1001 for such entity, other entities within the organization, or in the case of privately held entities or organizations, for owners and their families, officers, directors, or employees of the entity or organization.

   (P) A nonlawyer entity or organization acting through lawyer employees to the extent such lawyers perform pro bono legal services for nonprofit organizations, low-income clients, or otherwise in the public interest.

   (Q) A nonlawyer entity or organization acting through lawyer employees providing legal services, without direct payment therefor, to a party other than a party described in § 3-1004(O), in a manner consistent with the Nebraska Rules of Professional Conduct (including, without limitation, the provisions relating to conflicts of interest and fee sharing), so long as the entity or organization has a financial interest in the outcome of the legal services, there is a commonality of purpose between the entity or organization and the third party, and the entity or organization is not otherwise in the business of providing legal services except as provided in these rules.

   (R) An entity or an organization in the business of insurance, guarantee or indemnity utilizing a lawyer employee or captive lawyer admitted to the bar in Nebraska or otherwise authorized to practice law in Nebraska to represent its insured, principal, or a noninsured for whom a defense is provided under a reservation of rights, so long as there is a commonality of purpose between the entity or organization and the insured, principal, or noninsured, and the lawyer employee or captive lawyer is able to comply with the Nebraska Rules of Professional Conduct.

   (S) An entity or organization in the business of insurance or a self-insured entity or organization may, for the purpose of adjusting claims against it or its insured, prepare certain documents, provide information to, and negotiate with other persons or entities if all of the following conditions are met:

   (1) The transaction involved is incidental to the lawful business of the insurance company or self-insured;

   (2) The transaction arises in the usual course of business of the insurance company or the self-insured;

   (3) The transaction may be carried out by an employee, a third party administrator or agent legally authorized to adjust claims on behalf of the insurance entity or organization or the self-insured; and

   (4) There shall be no charges to any person or entity making a claim against the insurer or self-insured.

   (T) Nonlawyer employees and supervised volunteers of nonprofit entities whose primary purpose is assisting domestic violence and sexual assault victims, which nonlawyers may assist victims with the following:

   (1) Distributing pro se forms for harassment and protection orders prescribed by the Nebraska Supreme Court and assisting victims in the preparation of such forms.

   (2) Describing to victims the proceedings under the Protection from Domestic Abuse Act.

   (3) Accompanying victims throughout all stages of proceedings under the Protection from Domestic Abuse Act.

   (4) Attending all court proceedings including, at the judge’s discretion, sitting in chambers, sitting at counsel table to confer with victims, or responding to inquiries by the court. However, they shall not examine witnesses, make arguments to the court, or otherwise act in a representative capacity for the victims.

   (U) Nonlawyers making any disclosure or advisement, which is required by state or federal law.

   (V) Financial institutions and their nonlawyer employees, preparing documents relating to transactions, if all of the following conditions are met:

   (1) The transaction involved is related to the lawful business of the financial institution;

   (2) The transaction arises in the usual course of business for the financial institution;

   (3) The transaction requires the preparation of security agreements, financing statements, assignments, termination statements, effective financing statements, releases, deeds of reconveyance, promissory notes, deeds of trust, mortgages, and similar types of financial documents; and

   (4) The documents referred to in § 3-1004(V)(3) to be prepared by nonlawyers shall be on standardized forms which may contain various blanks to be filled in, the completion or selection of which does not require the knowledge, judgment, or skill of one trained as a lawyer.

   (W) Nonlawyers engaging in any other activity which the Supreme Court determines, by published opinion or court rule, does not constitute the unauthorized practice of law.

Supreme Court Rules

This page was last modified on Thursday, October 4, 2012